Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome to Camp Nightmare by R.L. Stine

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (September 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0439568463
ISBN-13: 978-0439568463
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5 x 0.4 inches

Ahhh, another venture into the infamous Goosebumps series. In Welcome To Camp Nightmare, we travel along with Billy as he enters summer camp. Be aware, this camp is like no other. From disappearing camp mates, to strange sounds and goings on, you will think twice before heading to a fun sun filled adventure at camp.

Right from the beginning, things just didn't seem right to Billy. First the bus load of kids are dropped off in the middle of no where with no idea what is to happen to them. Next, when they do make it to camp, it seems as though they are prisoners and the counselors don't seem to have a care in the world what happens to the kids. Billy knows one thing for sure, he must find a way to get out and get home and fast - before he ends up like his friends - gone, without a trace!

My daughter and I enjoyed this quite well. She said that she was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a true monster, as there appears to be on the cover of the book. I know that these are geared toward a bit older audience ( 9-12), but at 6, she is loving this series of books and can't wait to move on to a new one after one is finished! I enjoyed them as well and look forward to cuddling up and reading these books at the end of each day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jimmy's Stars by Mary Ann Rodman

Jimmy's Stars
by Mary Ann Rodman

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (April 29, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0374337039
ISBN-13: 978-0374337032
Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches

Jimmy's Stars is a beautiful, poignant and touching story. Eleven year old Ellie McKelvey finds out one day that her beloved brother, Jimmy, has been drafted into the war. He must report to Union Station at 6 A.M. October 2, 1943. This is the day that will change Ellie's life forever.

As young Ellie learns to deal with a house and daily life without her brother at home, she cherishes the days when a letter comes in the mail addressed to her from Jimmy and she knows that he is all right. Soon Christmas comes and goes and Jimmy does not come home, as he promised. An occasional letter still makes it's way to Ellie, as her young life is filled with the sacrifices and worries brought on by the war. Each day prayers are said that the war will come to an end and loved ones will be home safely.

Jimmy's Stars is a vivid peek into a bygone era of war and sacrifice. Mary Ann Rodman brings both the characters and the sitting to life and enables the reader to fall right within it's pages. This is a story geared toward the 9 - 12 age range, however, I think that anyone of any age would deeply enjoy this stirring work. Though this is the first story by this author that I have read, I anxiously look forward to reading more by her. I greatly enjoy her style of writing and am enormously pleased to have discovered her.

Not only do I give Jimmy's Stars my highest recommendation, I also believe that this would be a perfect book for a book club pick. Such a perfect book for young people (and adults alike) to read and discuss together. Mary Ann Rodman brings forth an engrossing story, with Jimmy's Stars, and displays a true talent to engulf young people in the treasure of reading.


Product Description:

It’s September 1943, and eleven-year-old Ellie McKelvey’s older brother, Jimmy, has just been drafted. Jimmy has a joyful heart and a kind word for everyone, and he’s the only person who thinks Ellie is smart and funny and as beautiful as Lana Turner, the movie star. Ellie can hardly stand to see him go. With Jimmy gone, Aunt Toots moves into his bedroom, Ellie’s mother takes a war job at a factory, and everything in Ellie’s life seems upside down. But she figures that the war will be over and Jimmy home by Christmas, so as much as she misses him, she keeps her spirits up. Even as families in the neighborhood begin to receive telegrams informing them that their boys are wounded or worse, Ellie never stops believing in Jimmy.

In her second work of historical fiction, Mary Ann Rodman captures all the authentic details of life on the homefront during World War II, as well as the fierce love a sister has for her beloved big brother.


About the Author:

MARY ANN RODMAN’s debut novel,Yankee Girl, was chosen as a VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers and an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. She lives with her family in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Additional works by Mary Ann Rodman:

Yankee Girl
My Best Friend
First Grade Stinks
Surprise Soup coming in Spring 2009

Click above titles to find out more information about each title and how to order.


Be sure to visit the following bloggers, also on tour for Jimmy's Stars:

01 Charger
A Childhood of Dreams
A Christian Worldview of Fiction
A Mom Speaks
All About Children's Books
Becky's Book Reviews
Book Review Maniac
By the Book Reviews
Dolce Bellezza
Fireside Musings
Homeschool Buzz
Looking Glass Reviews
Maggie Reads
Maw Books
Small World Reads
The Friendly Book Nook
The Hidden Side of a Leaf

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Great coloring page website

I just stumbled across this site this morning as I was looking for dinosaur pictures to print off for my daughter to color. I have to say that it is an awesome site filled with every kind of picture you could possibly want to color - from animals to tons of popular children's characters! Be sure to check it out! Coloring Book Fun!

Oh, there are also mazes, dot to dots, educational pages and tons of fun things for kids to do!! I'm thrilled to have found it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It Came From Beneath The Sink by R.L. Stine

It Came From Beneath The Sink
Goosebumps Series
By R.L. Stine

A harmless dried up sponge or an evil creature? That is what Kat and her brother Daniel must figure out when they discover what appears to be an old sponge under the sink of their new house. It doesn't take long for them to do just that - soon they discover the sponge is alive complete with a set of evil looking eyes. Bad luck follows where ever they go and with each accident, the creature becomes more excited and alive.

Will Kate and Daniel figure out just what this thing is and if there is a way to get rid of it before it is too late?

It Came From Beneath The Sink is another great story by R.L. Stine. It has just the right amount of creepiness for this young age group and never has a dull moment. My six year old daughter is loving this series of books and is always ready to grab another, just as soon as we finish one up. I also enjoy reading them with her and love how the author ends each chapter in a way that makes the reader want to continue onto the next. Great books to hold children's attention!

*112 pgs
*ages 9-12

Ghost Town at Sundown by Mary Pope Osborne

Ghost Town at Sundown
Magic Tree House #10
By Mary Pope Osborne

Take a trip to the Wild Wild West with Annie and Jack in this lastest installment of the Magic Tree House Series. The riddle that the kids must solve this time around to become Master Librarians:

Out of the blue,
my lonely voice
calls out to you.
Who am I? Am I?

As Jack and Annie gather clues to try to figure out the answer to this mysterious riddle, they encounter a rattlesnake, horse thieves, a lost colt and a helpful cowboy named Slim. A real life Ghost Town complete with ghosts? Or just wild imaginations?

Come along on another great adventure with Jack and Annie. My daughter and I both enjoyed this one, as we have all of the books in this series thus far. The fact that this included horses, made it an even bigger hit since my daughter is a huge horse fan! We both look forward to the next adventure.
*73 pgs
ages 9-12